"Zen is not some kind of excitement, but concentration on our usual, everyday routine."
Shunryu Suzuki, 20th Century
Practice in the Zendo
Stepping into the Zendo we have an opportunity to stop and take notice of our everyday habits of body, speech and mind.
Soto Zen is often considered a 'formal practice' because we are both intentional and mindful in our actions and words together in the Zendo.
The forms we practice in the Zendo such as bowing, chanting together, enjoying noble silence, and moving in accord with the bells, offer a space for us to nourish our mindfulness of thoughts, speech and action.
Our basic practice is zazen meditation 'shikan-taza', which means 'just sitting'. We sit upright and relaxed, facing the wall, breathing normally, with eyes open.
If you're new to Soto Zen
Learning the forms in the Zendo can help ease the way. Thursday class includes an introduction to these basic forms, so if possible, please come to Thursday evening class before joining Sunday sitting and service.
On Sunday, we practice 'noble silence' in the Zendo. There is an opportunity to ask questions about the pratice at the end of Sunday sitting and service. We value the open inquiry of "Beginner's Mind" and encourage you to share any questions you might have then.
Mount Equity Zendo - Reverend Dai-En Bennage
Plum Village Website - Thich Nhat Hanh
Clare Sangha - Zen Community of Baltimore